Working With Industry Authorization: A Beginner's Guide to OAuth 2.0

OAuth 2.0 is an authorization protocol designed to control access within a web application or a mobile application. Here’s an interesting read showcasing the role of OAuth 2.0 for offering secure access to resources and why enterprises should get it in place.

Vishal Sharma
Vishal Sharma
June 08, 2021
4 min read

With more and more enterprises inclining towards a secure and user-friendly mode of authorization, OAuth 2.0 is the need of the hour.

OAuth 2.0 (Open Authorization) is an industry-standard authorization protocol that allows a website or an application to access resources on behalf of a particular user.

Some people may relate authorization with authentication and believe it to be the same thing. But both of them are different and play a crucial role in providing a secure ecosystem.

While authentication verifies the identity of an individual, authorization offers consented access along with restricted actions of what users can perform on resources and other crucial data.

In a nutshell, OAuth 2.0 is an authorization protocol that is designed to control access within a web application or a mobile application.

Let’s quickly learn more about this authorization protocol and why enterprises need to put their best foot forward in adopting industry-standard authorization.

Why is NOW the Best time to Implement OAuth 2.0 for Your Organization?

Since many businesses have adopted remote working environments and most media and other industries are facing a huge increase in the number of subscriptions, OAuth 2.0 is undoubtedly the immediate necessity.

Providing restricted access to certain resources is becoming quite challenging for enterprises handling a huge client base and has certainly created new challenges for the implementation teams.

Moreover, ensuring the highest level of security for both the consumers and the organization is yet another big challenge as the number of security breaches increased amid the global pandemic.

Why Does Your Business Need OAuth 2.0?

Let’s understand with an example.

Suppose you need to edit photos through an application. This application now requires access to your photos placed in Google Photos on your phone.

So technically, you need to provide your Gmail credentials to access photos, isn’t it? But wait, that’s quite risky as it not only offers access to your photos but also to sensitive information in your other connected applications like email and drive.

Here’s where OAuth 2.0 comes into play. Using OAuth 2.0 is the perfect solution in this scenario as no one would ever provide their login credentials to another application.

The photo-editing application will first take authorization to access photos from Google, which would ensure that only access to photos is granted to the application and that too for a limited period of time once the user approves the same.

The same thing goes for every business offering resources or data access to users. The best part about OAuth 2.0 is that everything is managed securely and there aren’t any chances of a data breach or unauthorized access.

So, if you’re an enterprise that has a huge client base and needs to offer certain services and access to resources, OAuth2.0 is a must-have solution in place.

Also Read: Getting Started with OAuth 2.0.

What are the Principles of OAuth 2.0?

Since OAuth 2.0 is an authorization protocol, it is exclusively designed as a means to grant access to resources or data within an application or website.

The basic working principle of OAuth 2.0 is based on the use of access tokens. This access token is nothing but a small piece of data representing the authorization access on behalf of the end-user.

If a user has an access token, he/she can access the resources or data within that particular application for a particular period of time. Once the token expires, the access is revoked.

The most common format for the token is JWT (JSON Web Token), and it contains the user data along with the expiration date for security reasons.

Features of OAuth 2.0

As an authorization protocol, OAuth 2.0 offers endless features and capabilities to enterprises as well as users. Some of them include:

  • Simple and secure access to resources without the need to share the credentials
  • Offers user agent flows to ensure client applications are running using a scripting language, including JavaScript.
  • Accesses data tokens without the need of credentials and stores data in an online file system of a particular user

Advantages of OAuth 2.0

Numerous businesses are leveraging OAuth 2.0 through a dedicated CIAM (consumer identity and access management) solution like LoginRadius. Here are some advantages of relying on an authorization protocol like OAuth 2.0:

  • Flexible and secure as it relies on Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), which ensures data is secure between web server and browsers
  • OAuth 2.0 allows limited access to user’s data seeking access to resources. Offers limited access until the token expires
  • Shares user data without any chance of personal data breach of users seeking an access
  • Easy implementation and better authentication authorization through OAuth 2.0
  • It can be used to handle multiple requests and can cater to a number of users at a single time.

Final Thoughts

Ensuring the highest level of security and confidentiality is what every business needs in today’s era. OAuth 2.0 enables businesses to securely provide access to certain resources and sensitive data without a user’s login credentials.

Businesses seeking the finest modes of authentication coupled with authorization can consider LoginRadius CIAM that enables a flawless experience coupled with robust security.

The LoginRadius CIAM is designed to empower businesses by offering the finest user experience and maximum security through industry-standard protocols including OAuth 2.0.

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Vishal Sharma

Vishal Sharma

Vishal Sharma - a writer by day and a reader by night, is working as a Sr. Content Writer at LoginRadius. With a demonstrated history of thriving business success through sustainable marketing tactics, he ensures high-quality & valuable content is distributed across diverse channels. When not writing, you can find him watching a movie or maybe, reading a book.

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